We all knew that Donald Trump would react poorly to the cancellation of his favorite sitcom, the rebooted Roseanne, especially since that was brought on by the negative reactions to a racist insult on Twitter—one of Trump’s other favorite things. What we didn’t know at the time was how quickly the perfect false equivalence would get served up for him, and for that, Samantha Bee is definitely sorry.
If you somehow missed the whole debacle, Bee called Ivanka Trump a “feckless c**t” in a segment on Full Frontal With Samantha Bee on Wednesday night, in which she chastised Trump over posting a mother/son picture while her father’s administration, which she works for, rips apart immigrant families for no other reason than to display cruelty as a deterrent. No matter what anyone thinks of the use of that word, it’s not nearly the same as Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet, or any of Roseanne’s other behavior for a long time now.
But that didn’t stop Donald Trump from going into full government censorship mode in an ironic reaction to cries that Roseanne was being unfairly silenced. He tweeted to suggest that Bee should be fired, or to at least draw attention to the false “double standard” he sees in order to do what Trump does best: stir up arguments about things that aren’t all that important, because he does better when that’s what everyone is focusing on instead of his corrupt incompetence. Or incompetent corruption. Or both.
Bee has already apologized for her choice of words, but her further comments at the Television Academy Honors paint a clearer picture of why she’s actually sorry, beyond that she’s lost some advertisers over the remark and TBS probably wanted her to apologize. According to Deadline, she said the segment was intended to bring attention to “the atrocious treatment of migrant children by this administration and past administration,” but that it “attracted controversy of the worst kind.”
That’s not because she’s now under fire, but because “We spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals.” She added, “If we are OK with that, then really, who are we?” It’s understandable that she’d feel guilty for providing fodder for the controversy machine, when the entire original Roseanne story reportedly received a lot more cable news coverage than the story of the actual, astronomical death toll of hurricane Maria.
If there’s anything that should provide Samantha Bee and her show’s staff with comfort, it’s that Donald Trump and his supporters just would’ve found some other ridiculous way to rile people up over something disingenuous. Before Bee’s show aired, conservatives were already trying to use Bill Maher as a comparison to argue over (tbh they can have him). Ultimately, though, the real blame rests squarely on Donald Trump and his supporters, who could simply choose to care about—or even acknowledge—things that actually matter, but would rather not.
(via Pajiba, image: TBS)
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